According to World Health Organization’s “Children: improving survival and well-being” report in 2020, preterm birth is the leading cause of mortality among children under 5 years old. In remote mountainous regions with poor healthcare capacity, saving the lives of preterm babies is even more difficult.

Lo Van Quan, a new member of Cong ethnic minority group, was born at home after his mother unexpectedly went into labor before the due date. Weighing only 2.1 kilograms, the baby was admitted to the Muong Te District Medical Center (Lai Chau) with shortness of breath, poor reflexes, and in urgent need of medical intervention.

Premature babies like Quan are susceptible to respiratory complications, and the continuous positive pressure ventilator (CPAP) is an essential medical equipment to support babies with respiratory failure. Even though every second counts when treating premature infants, not all district-level medical centers in rural areas are equipped with such machines to perform timely interventions. Fortunately for Quan and his family, in June 2022, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Muong Te District Medical Center was sponsored with 10 new medical equipment by VinaCapital Foundation’s Survive to Thrive program, among which included a CPAP machine to provide respiratory support for Quan. After 5 days of treatment, the baby boy was discharged with a healthy breathing pattern.

As there are still many underserved areas and children who may not be as fortunate as Lo Van Quan, the Survive to Thrive program still has a long journey ahead and needs a lot of support from the community to bring a healthy start in life to these little ones.

Let’s learn about Survive to Thrive program’s achievements and join hands with us to build capacity for neonatal care in rural hospitals throughout Vietnam here.

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